- 200g beetroot
- 150g dark chocolate, roughly chopped (skip the ginger below and use a dark bar with ginger!)
- 1 tbsp freshly grated ginger
- ½ tsp ground cardamom (optional)
- 125g plain flour
- 1½ tsp baking powder
- Pinch of sea salt, finely crushed
- 150g caster sugar
- 200g unsalted butter, at room temp
- 3 whole eggs
- 100g mascarpone cheese for the icing, if you're topping it
- 200g full-fat cream cheese
- 75g icing sugar, sifted
- An orange for zesting the top
Will keep for a couple of days in the fridge.
1. Roast or boil the beetroot till tender (takes about an hour). Remove the skin. Roughly chop then purée. This can be done in advance.
2. Preheat your oven to 180°C/Fan 160°C/Gas 4. Pop the chocolate and beetroot into an oven-safe glass or metal bowl. Set it in the warming oven just till the chocolate is melted – it takes just a few mins, so check often.
3. Fold the melted chocolate and beetroot together. Add the ginger (and cardamom, if using). Set aside to cool.
4. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a large bowl. Separate the eggs. Whisk the yolks with the butter and sugar till pale and creamy. Whisk the whites till stiff and meringue-like.
5. Gently fold the yolk mix into the flour. Then fold in the whites, ? at a time. Gently stir in the chocolatey beetroot mixture.
6. Grease an 18.5cm (7”) cake tin with butter, then dust with enough flour to coat. Add the mix. Bake for 50 mins, till a skewer comes out clean. It will be moist, almost fudgy in the middle.
7. Stand for 10 mins. Turn out and cool on a rack. If you're icing on the cake, fold the mascarpone, cream cheese, sifted sugar and ginger togehter. Slather over the top of the cake. Grate over the zest of an orange, if you like.